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Sunday, October 16, 2011



Big Red & Barbacoa (Alive) :: Don’t let the laconic opening track fool ya ’cause once they get going these mofos are more hyperactive than a gang-bangin’ nympho on her backdated birthday—and twice as hot. Bonus points for recording “I Keep Waiting” which is the greatest cross-border song that the Beach Boys never recorded.

The Plimsouls
Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal: October 31, 1981 Whisky A Go Go (Alive) :: Recorded close enough to the end of the ’70s to remain a certifiably cool historical document of the times, this one captures the rockin’ Plimsouls at their finest as they show why they’re the long lost missing musical link in an pop-rock lineage that stretches back to the Beatles and was inherited by Cheap Trick.

Brian Olive
Brian Olive (Alive) :: And speaking of rock royalty, sauntering out of left field like some kinda mutant bastitch offspring between piano-pimpin’ Randy Newman and sax-swillin’ David Bowie comes this genial gent who sounds like he was born after spending nine months with his sonic sensibilities slowly soaking in a vat of rock ’n’ roll.

The Black Keys
The Moan (Alive) :: When I first heard this white boy gitbox and traps duo on the radio whilst driving thought Mississippi, I initially took them to be denizens from the swamp-steeped colored contingency. That’s ’cause these four tracks are so stewed in primo distorto in-the-red primitivism it makes Raw Power sound like Wish You Were Here—and if you don’t believe me, just listen to their reverbo tremolo cover of Die Stooches’ “No Fun” which makes the original sound like it was recorded by the Longenes Symphony.

The Nerves
One Way Ticket (Alive) :: This certified cool catch-all compendium is the definitive must have one disc distillation of the Nerves’ late ’70s power pop puds. Almost everything you’d want to hear is here including their initial four track extended player; a brace of rare demos; and an overdose of live tracks—twenty songs in all. Bonus points for using vintage liner photos by Bongo Beat Records prexy Ralph Alfonso who, appropriately enough given the content, is Canada’s answer to the late great Greg Shaw of Bomp Records fame.

3 (Alive) :: Maybe that’s a wily reflection on their band name but, boy, do these guys ever have their vintage Buffalo Springfield sound down pat, with a scoop of classic Neil Young mixed in to make everything go down smooth. Luckily for them, they somehow manage to transcend the comparison by managing to paradoxically come up with their own twangy sound, as witnessed by songs like the short and sweet “Everyone Knows It But You” and the utterly amiable “Circle Day” which is sloppy enough to have a choppy verve and swerve all its own. For what it’s worth, there’s something happening here. What it is, is exactly clear.

It’s Alive! (Sire) :: Geddit?

Be seeing you!

Sun, October 16, 2011 | link 

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